Why is there no British Google ?

The good news is that the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer are both asking the question, They are also serious about listening to the answers.

1) The UK tax and banking systems actively penalise hands-on investors and those who introduce them to those looking for funds – without going through expensive and useless (in terms of genuine investor proteciton) regualtory hoops. This problem is not new and was also the reason there was no British Apple.

2) It is too difficult to get planning permission in those locations with the necessary mix of power and water supplies, communications links and people skills. This is also the reason why there is no Googleplex in the UK and again is not but is getting worse as our power and water supplies crumble and our broadband and skills supply fall further behind,

3) The jungle of information and identity governance rules – from RIPA to Data Protection, from Know Your Customer to Money Laundering – that get in the way of good business practice and customer service. This is also the reason our existing data hubs are quietly emigrating.


Last night I became co-chairman of the Conservative Technology Forum with the task of organising policy studies to address the awkward questions I ask.

The good news is that I found two immediate volunteers to address the lack of genuine first stage  Venture Capital market in the UK. One spent several years running a VC operation in Silicon Valley and has access to a quarry of hungry UK business school students to do the research. The other agreed to take the message back to the Real Time Club (meeting this evening) whose members have been trying to get govenrment to do what is necessary on this issue for over forty years.

The better news is that my successor as Secretary General of EURIM is working on the launch of cross-party policy studies on using investment in Shared Infrastucture to help pull through economic recovery and on rationalising Information and Identity Govenance. These are due for announcement launch on 9th June. On Thursday he will be in Brussels discussing how to progress these. I plan to spend time helping him get the necessary support because the more of this that can be done on an all–party basis the better. 

Sorry this blog does not have the usual hot links to sources. My workload has gone berserk and you will have to Google them yourself.    


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